NSCSW response to COVID-19

Social distancing measures continue to be necessary for protection of the public during this challenging time.

What this means for our office

If you wish to visit our office in Halifax, please make an appointment first, to make sure that the office will be open that day and to confirm that the person you need to speak with will be available in person. 

  • All visitors will be asked health screening questions when they make an appointment, and again when they arrive at our office. 
  • We are collecting visitor names and contact information in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
  • The public health order requires non-medical masks to be worn in all common areas of the building (lobby, elevators, restrooms, hallways, etc.) unless you are exempt from wearing one for a valid medical reason.

Our small but dedicated team of staff are on a telework rotation. When working remotely, our staff continue to check voice mail and email regularly, and will respond to all messages as soon as we can. Most meetings are being held via teleconference. 

We continue to fulfil our essential regulatory functions, including license renewal. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email or telephone if you have questions or need support. 

What this means for social workers

Social workers are supporting communities that are affected or fearful of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Some of our members have asked for guidance on specific topics; we hope Alec’s recent blog posts about telepracticesocial work practice during emergency situations, and taking time for reflection are helpful.

Public health guidelines continue to change as more becomes known; we encourage all members to stay up to date on guidance and regulations that may apply to your practice. The Canadian Association of Social Workers (CASW) is helping social workers stay up to date with the latest information by maintaining a page on their website with helpful, reliable resources for health care professionals, the public, and communities.

Professional development

Professional development guidelines for social workers were temporarily changed for 2020, to accommodate and encourage self-care and reflection, and because many professional development opportunities had been cancelled or postponed (including our own 2020 conference). These temporary changes were extended until the end of 2021, but are expected to revert to normal by 2022.

We are continuing to offer online professional development to serve our members’ learning needs; our programming has included webinars offered in partnership with the CASW and open to their members across Canada, interactive workshops that require live participation, and free events open to the public. All College events will be posted on our website, and announcements will be distributed in the member newsletter.

The CASW has a robust collection of online resources for professional development. Members of our College have free access to all of their webinars, their online journal, and a full-text journal database. Visit the CASW website to learn more.

Private practice

Public health approved guidelines for reopening private practice offices in Nova Scotia beginning June 5, 2020. These guidelines were updated in October 2020, and again in August 2021.

Please review these documents carefully, as compliance is required in order for Private Practitioners to offer in-person services for elective and non-urgent care during the state of emergency. Reach out to the College if you have any questions about the updated guidelines

We’ll update this page again when Nova Scotia enters Phase 5.


This page was last updated August 25, 2021.

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